Carrie Johnson

Carrie Johnson is a Justice Correspondent for the Washington Desk.

She covers a wide variety of stories about justice issues, law enforcement and legal affairs for NPR's flagship programs Morning Edition and All Things Considered, as well as the Newscasts and NPR.org.

While in this role, Johnson has chronicled major challenges to the landmark voting rights law, a botched law enforcement operation targeting gun traffickers along the Southwest border, and the Obama administration's deadly drone program for suspected terrorists overseas.

Prior to coming to NPR in 2010, Johnson worked at the Washington Post for 10 years, where she closely observed the FBI, the Justice Department and criminal trials of the former leaders of Enron, HealthSouth and Tyco. Earlier in her career, she wrote about courts for the weekly publication Legal Times.

Outside of her role at NPR, Johnson regularly moderates or appears on legal panels for the American Bar Association, the American Constitution Society, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and others. She's talked about her work on CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, PBS, and other outlets.

Her work has been honored with awards from the Society for Professional Journalists and the Society of American Business Editors and Writers. She has been a finalist for the Loeb award for financial journalism and for the Pulitzer Prize in breaking news for team coverage of the massacre at Fort Hood, Texas.

Johnson is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Benedictine University in Illinois.

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The Two-Way
4:33 pm
Thu May 7, 2015

FBI Says It Sent Bulletin On Texas Assailant Hours Before Attack

FBI Director James B. Comey takes a question during a news conference in March. Comey says the FBI issued a bulletin to local law enforcement about one of the Garland, Texas, assailants three hours before the attack.
Joshua Roberts Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu May 7, 2015 6:01 pm

Updated at 6 p.m. ET

FBI Director James Comey says the bureau issued a bulletin on one of the two assailants at a Prophet Muhammad cartoon contest in Garland, Texas, just three hours before the attack earlier this week.

Comey told reporters Thursday that the FBI had sent an Intel Bulletin to local law enforcement with a photo of Elton Simpson, his license plate number and other information without stating directly that he was heading to Garland.

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It's All Politics
4:29 pm
Thu May 7, 2015

New Public-Corruption Chief Vows To Not Shy Away

The U.S. Department of Justice building in Washington, DC.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 7, 2015 6:16 pm

Veteran prosecutor Raymond Hulser has been promoted to lead the Justice Department's Public Integrity Section, the unit that goes after corrupt public officials including lawmakers, judges and military contractors.

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Law
6:02 am
Wed May 6, 2015

On Her First Official Trip As Attorney General, Lynch Goes To Baltimore

Originally published on Wed May 6, 2015 2:07 pm

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Around the Nation
4:31 pm
Tue May 5, 2015

Attorney General Loretta Lynch Visits Baltimore

Originally published on Tue May 5, 2015 7:32 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Law
7:59 am
Sat May 2, 2015

Georgia Settles Case Alleging Assembly-Line Justice For Children

Originally published on Sat May 2, 2015 10:26 am

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It's All Politics
3:27 pm
Thu April 30, 2015

Can't Get A Job Because Of A Criminal Record? A Lawsuit Is Trying To Change That

Tyrone Peake says he's been fired from three jobs because a crime he committed more than 30 years ago is still on his record.
Carrie Johnson NPR

Originally published on Thu April 30, 2015 8:19 pm

Outside an apartment building on Broad Street, along the county line in Philadelphia, birds outnumber the rush-hour traffic.

"It's nice and quiet compared to other neighborhoods which I lived in," said Tyrone Peake, 52.

In 1981, when he was just 18, Peake was arrested with a friend for trying to steal a car to take a girl home after a long weekend.

"No, we never got the car," Peake said. "We broke the ignition column and then the cops came."

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U.S.
5:27 pm
Sat April 25, 2015

Behind The Scenes At Eric Holder's Last Day At The Justice Department

Originally published on Sat April 25, 2015 10:39 pm

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It's All Politics
5:03 pm
Fri April 24, 2015

With Tears And Thanks, Attorney General Eric Holder Says Goodbye

Eric Holder said goodbye to Justice Department employees Friday.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Mon April 27, 2015 12:11 pm

"Hey," the attorney general said as he walked into his final meeting with senior staffers Friday morning. "Let's do this one last time."

After more than six years running the Justice Department, Eric Holder took a seat at his polished wooden table and prepared to close the door on an institution where he'd spent countless hours since September 1976.

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It's All Politics
4:40 pm
Fri April 24, 2015

Young Trafficking Victim's Story On NPR Leads To Senator's Amendment

"I never thought that my story would have touched somebody so much that they went in front of Congress to present a bill," the young woman, whom NPR is not naming, said of Shaheen. "There's a lot of voices out there that can't tell her thank you."
Evie Stone NPR

Originally published on Fri April 24, 2015 6:55 pm

Hearing the words of a 24-year-old victim of human trafficking — and her struggle to wipe away her conviction on prostitution charges — inspired New Hampshire Sen. Jeanne Shaheen.

That young victim, who was featured in an NPR story in February, endured years of rapes and brutal assaults by pimps who forced her into prostitution.

"I'm not ever going to forget what I've done or what I've gone through. But at the same time, I don't want it thrown in my face every time I'm trying to seek employment," she said. "I don't want to have to explain myself every time."

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Politics
4:56 pm
Thu April 23, 2015

5 Months Later, Senate Confirms Loretta Lynch As Attorney General

Originally published on Thu April 23, 2015 7:03 pm

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It's All Politics
1:58 pm
Thu April 23, 2015

Senate Confirms Loretta Lynch As Attorney General

Loretta Lynch testifies during her confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee in January 2015.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 23, 2015 2:23 pm

The Senate voted Thursday, 56-43, to approve the nomination of Loretta Lynch to serve as U.S. attorney general, ending a more than five month-long political impasse that had stalled her bid to become the first black woman to lead the Justice Department.

Lynch, 55, grew up in the shadow of the civil rights movement in North Carolina, where her family had preached for generations. Most recently, she prosecuted terrorists, mobsters and white collar criminals as the top federal prosecutor in Brooklyn, a district that covers 8 million people.

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It's All Politics
4:48 pm
Wed April 22, 2015

Man Who Shot Reagan Seeks Release From Mental Hospital

John Hinckley Jr. arrives at U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., in 2003 to seek five-day, unsupervised visits with his parents at their home in Virginia. His current hearing is the seventh time a court has weighed gradually opening the door to Hinckley's freedom.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Wed April 22, 2015 7:59 pm

The man who shot President Ronald Reagan in 1981 is making a new push for freedom.

John Hinckley Jr. was found not guilty by reason of insanity and confined to a mental institution for shooting the president, Press Secretary James Brady and two law enforcement officers. Now he's asking a federal judge to allow him to live full time with his mother in Virginia.

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Law
5:37 pm
Tue April 21, 2015

DEA Chief Michele Leonhart To Retire

Originally published on Tue April 21, 2015 7:10 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Law
3:38 pm
Wed April 15, 2015

Former FBI Agent Speaks Out: 'I Was Not Protected'

FBI headquarters in Washington, D.C.
Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun May 3, 2015 8:17 pm

Robyn Gritz spent 16 years at the FBI, where she investigated a series of major national security threats. But she says she got crosswise with her supervisors, who pushed her out and yanked her security clearance.

For the first time, she's speaking out about her situation, warning about how the bureau treats women and the effects of a decade of fighting terrorism.

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It's All Politics
11:56 am
Wed April 15, 2015

Congress Says It Will Not Tolerate 'Agents Gone Wild'

"I'm very concerned about the public's respect for law enforcement officers and the safety of those they are designed to protect," House Judiciary Chairman Rep. Bob Goodlatte, seen here in 2013, told NPR. "This is a very important issue to me and one I intend to follow closely."
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Wed April 15, 2015 5:53 pm

Update at 2:30 p.m. ET

On Wednesday, House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz and fellow committee members released a statement expressing "no confidence" in DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart.

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Law
4:04 am
Wed April 15, 2015

A Decade After Blowing The Whistle On The FBI, Vindication

Kobus alerted his managers that a supervisor was allowing favorite employees to take time off for their birthdays, so the government had to pay more for other people at the agency to work overtime. "You know, this is not our money. This is the taxpayers' money, and I want it to be correct," he says.
Courtesy of Robert Kobus

Originally published on Wed April 15, 2015 10:00 am

Robert Kobus doesn't fit the stereotype of the disgruntled employee. He worked in administrative jobs at the FBI for 34 years, and he says he's seen the bureau at its best.

"My sister Deborah Kobus was a 9/11 victim, and the FBI treated me so well during that time," he says. "You know they really cared. I had a lot of friends, I know how important it is to have a strong FBI."

His sister died in the World Trade Center's south tower. When he helped walk out the last piece of steel at the site, he proudly wore his FBI jacket.

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Law
4:38 pm
Mon April 13, 2015

Ex-Blackwater Guards Sentenced For 2007 Shooting In Iraq

Originally published on Tue April 14, 2015 1:42 pm

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Law
5:08 pm
Wed March 25, 2015

Supreme Court Rules On Two Closely Watched Discrimination Cases

Originally published on Wed April 1, 2015 8:07 pm

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Law
7:29 am
Sat March 21, 2015

Justice Department Weighs In On Assembly-Line Justice For Children

A 12-year-old on trial in the stabbing death of a 9-year-old talks to his lawyer in 2014 in a Michigan circuit court. The Justice Department is targeting a Georgia case in the hopes of making legal representation for juveniles there more effective, but they say the problems occur nationwide.
Chris Clark Landov

Originally published on Sun March 22, 2015 1:46 pm

The Justice Department for the first time is weighing in on a state court case on whether some courts are depriving juveniles of their rights to a lawyer.

The department filed a statement of interest in a Georgia case that alleges that public defense in four southern counties is so underfunded that low-income juveniles are routinely denied the right to legal representation.

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It's All Politics
1:45 pm
Wed March 18, 2015

Attorney General Holder Jokes That Republicans Have 'A New Fondness For Me'

Attorney General Eric Holder has endured a rocky relationship with lawmakers during his tenure. But he's all they have until his successor is confirmed.
Nicholas Kamm AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu March 19, 2015 6:00 pm

Attorney General Eric Holder joked Wednesday that given nearly six months of Senate delays in confirming his successor at the Justice Department, "it's almost as if the Republicans in Congress have discovered a new fondness for me."

"I'm feeling love there that I haven't felt for some time. And where was all this affection the last six years?" the attorney general asked, to laughter, in brief remarks at the Center for American Progress in Washington.

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